Tasmania's Historic Buildings
Much of the state’s rich and complex history is tangible in streetscapes, gardens and homes, and preserved by World Heritage status.
Among early colonial buildings of national significance are the neighbouring estates of Brickendon and Woolmers at Longford in the northern midlands. Both estates have World Heritage listing and are among the nation’s finest examples of pioneer farming of the early 1800s. Nearby, on the South Esk River, is Clarendon, a three-storey Georgian mansion surrounded by gardens and parkland. And in the north-east are Low Head Pilot Station and Low Head Lighthouse. Designed by the colonial architect John Lee Archer and constructed in 1833, the lighthouse was Tasmania’s second and only the third built in Australia.
In Hobart, the Penitentiary Chapel is one of Australia's most important convict sites, pre-dating the impressive Port Arthur Historic Site. Nearby, Theatre Royal is Australia's oldest working theatre and a perfect example of intimacy on a grand scale.
Both Hobart and Launceston have many fine examples of 19th and 20th century architectural styles, including Regency, Victorian and Edwardian.
For a glimpse of more recent history, the well-preserved former hydro village of Tarraleah evokes life in the 1930s with beautifully crafted timber cabins and a stunning Art Deco lodge. And on the west coast, the restored Gaiety Theatre in Zeehan is a reminder of the mining boom in “silver city”. Built in 1898, the theatre was the largest concert hall in Australia at the time, with seating for more than 1000 patrons and a busy program of touring performances. See the theatre as part of a visit to the West Coast Heritage Centre).
Wherever you travel in Tasmania, there are stories to be found in the corridors and facades of its precious old buildings.